Why the legal drinking age should be lowered to 18

Lower drinking age would allow for increased education, greater safety among young people, college students

· Nov 25, 2019 Tweet

Marissa Haegele/The Badger Herald

College students consuming alcohol is inevitable — while not all choose to partake in drinking, many do. Drinking alcohol can lead to unsafe conditions. An altered state of mind impairs individuals which makes them more vulnerable to injury, sexual assault and even death. 

At the University of Wisconsin, 56% of students drink 0-4 drinks when they consume alcohol. This quantity of drinks can leave them impaired and at a higher risk of finding themselves in a potentially dangerous situation. 

No one wants to fall victim to any incident. If students were aware of their tolerance before entering college, they would be less likely to over-consume alcohol, which could lower the rate of crimes associated with alcohol consumption.

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While in Wisconsin, underage children can drink with their parents, this is not the case in all states. By making alcohol forbidden, underage people who want to experiment tend to be unaware of the consequences of drinking. 

If the legal drinking age was lowered to 18, people wouldn’t have to jeopardize their futures by obtaining and using false identifications. 

Many underage drinkers will quickly consume larger amounts of alcohol prior to going out instead of drinking over an extended period of time. If students could buy their own drinks, underage drinkers would be less likely to try to have older people buy them drinks. But by not purchasing their own drinks, they become more vulnerable to having something placed in the drink. 

The fear of getting in trouble for underage drinking also discourages people from seeking medical treatment when it could be necessary. These people are sometimes faced with the difficult decision of whether or not they should take an intoxicated friend to the hospital. If the drinking age was lower, this stigma would be erased and it would be more likely that these students wouldn’t risk not going.

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Additionally, if the drinking age was lowered, the concept of alcohol would be more normalized and kids would be comfortable asking their parents questions regarding alcohol consumption. This increased knowledge could help kids understand certain dangers that they may not have previously been aware of. These dangers could range anywhere from mixing different types of alcohol to being aware of the different alcohol percentages. 

A lot of students begin drinking in college where they are in an unfamiliar place with strangers. A lower drinking age would mean people would be able to casually order alcohol at meals and have experience with it instead of starting with binge-drinking. 

If a person is old enough to have the responsibility of driving a car, they should be allowed to consume alcohol. While the legal drinking age is higher, people will have more dangerous drinking habits and experiences. 

Lauren Hando (​[email protected]​) is a freshman intending to major in journalism.


This article was published Nov 25, 2019 at 8:16 pm and last updated Nov 25, 2019 at 8:16 pm


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